Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 12

Another man would take David’s wives

2 Samuel 12:11

David had taken Uriah’s wife for himself. In the same way, another man would take David’s wives for himself. That man was Absalom, David’s own son. The Bible records what happened in 2 Samuel 16:20-22.

We may ask what caused this. The Bible’s answer is that David’s evil deeds caused it. There was a terrible custom in ancient times for a son to claim authority over his father’s family in this manner. That was what Reuben tried to do in Genesis 35:22.

It was against God’s law for anyone in Israel to follow that custom (Leviticus 20:11). However, in other nations, people still followed it. Absalom’s mother was a king’s daughter from a foreign nation (2 Samuel 3:3; Joshua 13:13).

With so many wives, including at least one foreign wife, David greatly needed God’s special protection for his family. Without that protection, the natural desires of such a family would cause the worst troubles in Israel.

Until David himself chose on purpose not to obey God’s commands in Exodus 20:13-14, his family had that protection. Afterwards, they did not.

We ask whether David could have prayed for that protection to return. We do not know whether David prayed that or not. Sometimes God will answer a prayer like that, but sometimes not (12:16-19). Even when God has forgiven our evil deeds, we must sometimes deal with the results of our wrong behaviour.

Next part: Secret and public evil deeds (2 Samuel 12:12)


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